Floating floors are not attached to the sub-floor beneath them. This makes then easy to install, provided that there is already a sub-floor in position.
The great advantage of floating floors is the acoustic isolation. The sound of footsteps does not carry through the floor, so noise in upstairs tends not to be heard in rooms below or in neighbouring rooms. These isolated floors are popular and useful for dance floors, music rooms, heavy human traffic areas or even sound systems with subwoofers.
The acoustically quiet rooms is achieved with underlay beneath the floating top floor. This soft surface absorbs vibrations. This absorption quality means that the floor is soft underfoot.
The only disadvantage with floating timber floors is that they are not suitable for wet areas like bathrooms or laundries. Short terms spills are not an issue, but floating floors cannot withstand continual dampness; the water is prone to soak into the subfloor and acoustic padding beneath the floating upper surface. Water beneath the floor usually will not evaporate, and lead to mould and mildew problems.
Laminate is often used for floating floors. Engineered laminate planks have the advantage of locking together with neighbouring planks, making a good, tight fitting floors.
Engineered flooring, where the individual planks lock together with ‘tongue and groove’ edges, is a good choice for floating floors. Solid timber does not lock together in this fashion, so floating floors cannot use solid timber. The engineered wood offers many stylistic options, so the floor can still look like natural timber.
Bamboo is a grass rather than a wood. But is can be processed to make a very usable flooring material.
Bamboo grows to full maturity in only seven years; many hardwood take several decades. This makes is an easily renewable source of material.
Bamboo planks that interlock can effectively be used with underlay to make a floating floor.